It has been over two decades since the end of the Cold War. A war that was defined by an
ideological struggle between communism and capitalism. Today ideological conflict has receded
but does not imply a death of ideologies. This paper looks at the role of ideology in East-West
relations in a post-Cold War era. The paper uses secondary data to describe how Islamic
fundamentalism has influenced Russia, China and the US and also how ideology affects Russia US and US-China relations. The paper concludes that after the end of the cold war, ideology does
not define East-West relations. Liberalism has emerged as the dominant ideology, however other
secondary ideologies like Islamic fundamentalism, conservatism and nationalism play a role in
East-West relations but is secondary to national interest.
Keywords: Cold War, Capitalism, Islamic fundamentalism, Ideology, Pragmatic Socialism

In over two decades of the end of the Cold War and the world has yet to witness another
ideological conflict of its kind. The cold war was a sustained state of political and military tension
between powers in the Western bloc and powers in the Eastern bloc. The Western bloc included
the United States of America with the allies and military alliance (NATO). The Eastern bloc
included the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) with its allies and the Warsaw pact. It was a
war that involved nuclear deterrence, a struggle for dominance expressed thought proxy wars,
psychological warfare, propaganda, espionage and technological competition. A number of
reasons have been proposed to be the cause of the cold war. They include America’s fear of a
communist attack; Truman’s dislike of Stalin; USSR’s fear of the American atomic bomb; USSR’s
dislike for capitalism; USSR’s action in the Soviet zone of Germany; America’s refusal to share
nuclear secrets; USSR’s fear of an American attack; USSR’s need for a secure western border;
USSR’s aim of spreading world communism (Truman, 2015). However, most scholars agree that
ideology played a major role in the cold war (Udoka, 2012; Leffler, 2005; Subrahmanyam, 2010;
Painter & Leffler, 2005).

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